12 Replies Latest reply: Nov 24, 2007 6:52 PM by Richard Valenzuela
Richard Valenzuela Level 1 Level 1 (135 points)
I am just wondering if Apple Inc. is going to do something about the GeForce FX 5200 graphics cards not displaying the semi-transparent menu bar? Apparently this is still not displayed correctly after 10.5.1 even though this was clearly an advertised Leopard feature.

Apple Inc., are you working on a update for us NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 owners, or are we forced to have less than the mentioned features advertised for Leopard?

1.25GHz iMac G4, Mac OS X (10.5)
  • Ashka Level 4 Level 4 (3,785 points)
    This is a user to user forum, please contact Apple feedback via
    Have a great day.
  • Richard Valenzuela Level 1 Level 1 (135 points)
    Thank you for the link. I'm just curious as to what other GeForce FX 5200 users think about this?
  • Maniamac Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Richard, I'm right with you.

    It's an advertised feature, and a fundamental part of Leopard's new UI, and nowhere did Apple say prior to the release of Leopard what the required graphics cards are.

    Further, I do have a problem with the fact that the GeForce FX 5200 came on my iMac G5, which cost me $3000 in January of 2005, while computers (e.g. some iBooks, for instance) that cost half that, that were also in some cases even replaced before the iMac G5's debut, support this feature.

    And another thing: let's assume for the sake of argument that the menu bar hinges on support for what has the highest minimum requirements: Quartz GL. We all know the GeForce FX fits the requirements for Core Image. But in fact, it fits the requirements for Quartz GL also, since when it was known as Quartz 2D Extreme in Tiger (though in disabled form), as you'll find all over the Web, was supported on Radeon 9600 or better or the GeForce FX or better.

    So the fact that Quartz GL is not supported on this card in Leopard seems rather odd. Keep in mind the initial support doc said all Core Image capable cards will do the effect. The new support doc specifically excludes the GFX 5200; it "may" not have the necessary OpenGL capabilities. What is "may"?

    I think the whole thing has been mishandled.
  • Franz-Peter Scherer1 Level 1 Level 1 (120 points)
    GFX 5200 has indeed the capability to support Core Image and Quartz Extreme. But it has no full Open GL 2.0 support, only Open GL 1.5. Because the translucent menu bar is created by *Quartz GL* and *not Quartz Extreme*, the Gforce FX cannot show it.

    The only possibility to have a menu bar transparency would be to change something in the system or the window driver to produce simple transparencywith Quartz Extreme instead of Quartz GL translucency.

    Maybe it would be possible too with a firmware update for the graphic card but only if the gforce chip has the capacity to use Open GL 2.0 and Nvidia has just switched it off for security reasons or so.
  • Maniamac Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    You're right: most of the cards that do the menu bar translucence support OpenGL 2.0. There is, however, one notable exception:

    The Intel GMA 950 does NOT support OpenGL 2.0, and no amount of software tweaking will make it so. Its OpenGL capabilities, actually, are horrible. It, however, displays the translucent menu bar.

    I do not think that Quartz GL requirements are the same as OpenGL 2.0. Quartz GL requires a programmable graphics card, support for pixel/vertex 2.0 shaders, and support for ARB fragment program. The GFX 5200 meets all those requirements, and again, there is documentation that the card supports Quartz 2D Extreme, which is not Quartz Extreme, but the "old" name for Quartz GL. Why isn't it supported in Leopard then?
  • Franz-Peter Scherer1 Level 1 Level 1 (120 points)
    You're right. I have a mac mini too with the gma 950 and it shows translucent menu bar. but following the link you provided, there is one difference between the gforce 5200fx and the gma 950.
    The geforce 5200 does not support ARBtexture_non_power_oftwo. Maybe apple uses that function to generate the transucent menu bar.

    Maybe someone could inform about radeon 9000 or 9200. Those cards lack of that function too. To all users of those cards: Do you have translucent menu bar with os x leopard?
  • Maniamac Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Nice find!

    The Radeon 9000 & 9200 do not support the translucent menu bar. Then again, they don't support hardware-accelerated Core Image, either.

    Perhaps you're right that the ARBextension_non_power_oftwo extension is used to generate the translucent menu bar, especially considering the menu bar's extreme aspect ratio. And nice find that the GFX 5200 does not support that in hardware; however, I wonder how slow it truly would be if the menu bar were rendered in software. It is static, right? (I've seen pictures of buttons slipped "underneath" Leopard's menu bar and it is not redrawn to show them).

    Oh, well. I think it's hilarious that this simple effect is basically completely over-engineered. And I wish Apple would add this selling point of Leopard to the OS's minimum requirements page on apple.com, as heavily advertised as the new desktop is. Some people actually wanted this thing and were given no indication that they'd have to do without it.
  • Franz-Peter Scherer1 Level 1 Level 1 (120 points)
    I agree with you. Just did try to find out why it does not work.
    And indeed, would it be so difficult, to provide two kinds of drivers? There are, as we know, some graphic controllers, which are able to provide supprt for ARB_extension or whatever. So they can use the actual driver.
    All the other graphic cards, that showed transparent menu in the developer versions of Leopard, could use the driver from that developer version.

    Apple did sell a lot of power macs and imacs with gforce 5200 and obviously Apple is not very interested to support those machines, which are indeed not so old (say 3 years or so). And a further question is: How far will Apple go with the next operating system, maybe in 1 or two years. Will those macs be supported or declared as obsolete machines?
  • fragmore Level 3 Level 3 (660 points)
    Your GeForce5200 doesnot have the power to display as you want. It does not meet Apples specs completely.
    This is not a fixable situation.
    The card is not capable.
    Get a different card, that meets Apples minimum requirements or better.
  • organe d'h Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Translucency was supported just fine with 9a559 on my FX5200. For some reason, it was removed just days before the final version.

    The GeForce IS a capable GPU, much more so than intel's GMA. It has the power to display blurred menus, animations, all CoreImage effects.

    The gray menubar is particularly upsetting, I'd like to see Apple do something about this.
  • Franz-Peter Scherer1 Level 1 Level 1 (120 points)
    Transluceny may have been supported in the developer versions for FX5200. But Apple did obviously make a decision to go a different way in the implementation of that specific case. And that different way just uses a function the fx5200 cannot provide.
    As far as I can see it was not necessary to do so, it is just a pretty strange decision. For the PowerMacs that may not be a problem, because someone can exchange the FX 5200 with another graphic card (I would not do so just for one gimmick). That is not the case with the numerous iMacs, sold with FX 5200. It is not possible to exchange.
    And I agree with you, Apple should do something. It is ridiculous that a intel GMA, which lacks of the power the FX 5200 in most cases deliver except of the one function, which decides about translucent or not, is supported and the FX 5200 is excluded.
  • Richard Valenzuela Level 1 Level 1 (135 points)
    Funny how you say my graphics card does not meet the requirements set by Apple, because Apple never said my GeForce FX 5200 (which supports Core Image and Quartz Extreme) would not display this advertised feature prior to my purchase.